Wendy Davis is still trying to distract from the lies in her biography and her “F” score as a legislator from the NRA with new, vocal support for open carry. This week, she stated that gun rights are a “local” issue, best left to “municipalities,” “hospitals,” and “school districts.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that Davis felt compelled to clarify her position on open carry of weapons in Texas after her own party rebuked her for suddenly supporting the right of Texas gun owners to carry their arms with them publicly. Davis’s newfound support for open carry, despite her attempts as a legislator to install background checks at gun shows and her “F” rating from the NRA, surfaced just as the heat on her campaign for her biographical lies grew most potent.
In some ways, the plan worked–Davis and Republican opponent Greg Abbott are now both discussing the Second Amendment, but her pivot on the issue startled Democrats who had not seen any indication that her views on guns were such. By last week, they had seen Davis wielding former Governor Ann Richards’ weapon at an event closed to the press, appearing uncomfortable enough to reaffirm how new Davis is to supporting gun rights.
To keep the Democrats at bay, Davis tried to explain her positions this week. “Obviously in Texas we have a culture that respects the Second Amendment right and privilege of owning and carrying guns,” she told reporters at a press conference, “but we also, of course, have respect and understand [sic] a the rights and privileges of property owners to make decisions about what’s right for them.” To Davis, the choice of having guns in the open belongs to “municipalities, school districts, hospitals, private property owners,” making gun rights a local issue. “Local control means local control,” she asserted.
Republicans immediately pounced on the idea that a Second Amendment right was a local issue. Lieutenant governor candidate Jerry Patterson told the Chronicle that Davis’s position was “absurd” because “there is no such thing as local control of constitutional rights.”
Greg Abbott’s campaign has approached any controversy regarding Davis with caution, working harder to promote Abbott’s policy stances than Davis’s struggles. At an event proposing a new anti-crime plan in the state, Abbott made clear to reporters asking about Davis’s biographical falsehoods that he was not interested in discussing them and it was “time to move on” to issues that affect Texans. In the style that now typifies his campaign, Abbott spokesperson Matt Hirsch responded to Davis’s new stance by simply restating his candidates’ position: “Greg Abbott believes that Texans’ constitutional rights don’t stop at the city limits.”
Davis’s attempt to win the gun control debate in Texas is going about as well as her plan to convince Texans that her lies were actually true and the negative coverage was all Abbott’s fault, despite the reporter uncovering her story being a regular MSNBC contributor. Her stance on gun rights continues to be completely absent from her official website and leaves one wondering what Davis’s new attempt to win over voters will be by the end of this week.